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Darby, Ryan, Department of Neurology

Ryan Darby, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology
615-936-0060 (office)

Dr. Darby is interested in patients with symptoms at the border zone between neurology and psychiatry. Both neurological and psychiatric patients can share similar symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and criminal behavior. This suggests that these symptoms may share a common pathway across different diseases. However, these different diseases often have neuroimaging abnormalities in different locations, making it difficult to understand how the same symptom could develop.

To address this problem, Dr. Darby helped to develop a new neuroimaging approach to localize complex behaviors to brain networks, rather than specific brain locations. He first studied this in patients with focal brain lesions, showing that brain lesions in different locations causing the same syndrome were all functionally connected to the same brain network. Dr. Darby’s current work is focused on applying this method to neurodegenerative disorders in order to understand why brain atrophy in different locations can cause the same clinical syndrome. He is using this method in combination with behavioral testing to study criminal behavior in frontotemporal dementia patients and delusions/hallucinations in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Lewy Body Dementia. Dr. Darby has received numerous awards for his research, including the Stanley Cobb Award from the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry, the Young Investigator Award from the American Neuropsychiatric Association, and the S. Weir Mitchell Award for Outstanding Early Career Investigator from the American Academy of Neurology. His work is generously funded by the Sidney R. Baer, Jr Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the BrightFocus Foundation.

For more information, please visit the lab website.